Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho would be ‘mad’ to play Romelu Lukaku against City if he is fit, claims Paul InceNovember 9, 2018
ROMELU LUKAKU should NOT start the Manchester derby, even if he IS fit — Paul Ince has claimed.
The former Manchester United midfielder called on Jose Mourinho to leave the big Belgian out of the crunch Premier League clash against City on Sunday.
SunSport understands Lukaku is struggling to make Sunday’s massive grudge match.
Lukaku missed the 2-1 comeback wins over Juventus and Bournemouth, after picking up a hamstring strain in the win over Everton.
And former England, Inter and Liverpool midfielder Ince, who won two Premier League titles under Sir Alex Ferguson, has backed the selection of Alexis Sanchez as the lone striker.
Pep Guardiola’s champions are hot favourites to exact revenge over United after Mourinho’s side pooped their title party last season with a 3-2 win.
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But Sanchez is the man Ince wants to see lead the line.
He told Paddy Power: “Even if Lukaku is fit, Mourinho would be mad to play him in the derby.
“There are questions around whether Romelu Lukaku will be fit, but even if he is, Mourinho would be absolutely mad to play him.
“The results are plain to see.
“Alexis Sanchez was much improved against Juventus on Wednesday and it’s no coincidence that there was no Lukaku present.
“And in general, when he hasn’t played, United look like a much better team.”
Lukaku has not scored since the Red Devils beat Watford on September 19, and it could be nearly December before he scores for United again if he misses the trip to the Etihad.
But Sanchez has bedded in well with Anthony Martial, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard in recent games.
Ince added: “Without him, rather than booting in a long ball and hoping for the best, the United players are forced to play down the sides and get men in behind.
“No Lukaku has forced United to play a different way.
“And I’d go as far as to say it’s exciting to watch, they’re playing proper football again!
“They’re playing what I would call the United way.
“You can’t deny his goal scoring record, but there are certain balls which the midfield have been attempting now he’s not in the team, and there’s no way they’d have done that with him there.
“Sanchez, Lingard, Martial and even Rashford are all looking for those types of balls.
“It’s those kinds of players which will cause Manchester City trouble on Sunday, not Lukaku.”
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